Saucony Kinvara 4 Review

by - Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I swear my new Saucony Kinvara 4's make me run faster.

Maybe it's because they are highlighter yellow, and a shoe that color just isn't meant to go slow.

Taking my new Sauconys for a spin. Why yes they are so bright they reflect off my shins. #findyourstrong

Or maybe it's because they are so lightweight, I feel like there's nothing on my foot, and my feet just fly over the pavement.

Ohhhh pretty!!! Check out my new @Saucony #kinvara4 kicks! #fitfluential

Or maybe it's just all in my head, and I don't really go faster in them at all.

But I sure feel like I do.

My @Saucony Kinvaras make me fast. #findyourstrong #latergram

Saucony sent me these shoes to review several weeks ago as part of a FitFluential partnership. You may have remembered I also reviewed the super minimal Saucony Virratas a few weeks back, and completely loved them as well.

Ohh what do we have here? A surprise present from @Saucony. #findyourstrong
How awesome is the packaging the Kinvaras came in?

The Kinvaras won't be available in stores until May 1. But here's a sneak peek of what you can expect:

The Kinvaras are a little different than the Virratas. They are definitely a more minimal shoe than my Mizuno Wave Inspires, but unlike the Virratas, which have a 0mm heel-to-toe drop, the Kinvaras have a 4mm drop.

I found the 4mm heel-to-toe drop to feel much more comfortable than the 0mm drop, and I think that's because I'm used to running in a stability shoe that offers much more cushioning and protection. (Something I've found very, very necessary on my longer runs.)

Wearing all the bright colors for this morning's workout.

Similar to the Virratas, the Kinvaras have some extra cushioning in the shoe to protect feet from the pavement. The Saucony website sums it up well: The shoe offers protection, not correction.

I was surprised to find that's exactly what I wanted in a shoe for speed and shorter distance workouts.

For all of my running career (7+ years at this point), I have run in Mizuno Wave Inspires. They are the perfect shoes for my foot and are exactly what I need for long training runs.

But for shorter runs and speed work, I'm finding that I like having a lighter weight shoe. Something that makes me feel like I'm flying across the pavement, and that's what the Kinvara 4 does.

I don't plan to transition full-time to minimal shoes. They just don't work for me over long distances, my feet feel too beat up. But I think I've found a place for minimal shoes in my rotation. They are perfect for short stuff when I want my feet to feel light as air.

You can find more specs and a closer look at the Kinvara 4 from the design team's perspective over on Saucony's blog.

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  1. I can't wait until the 4s come out! I love my kinvara 2s. There is something funky about the 3s. I'm hoping the 4s will work well for me!

  2. I tried on both the Kinvara 3 and the Virrata and didn't like either of them. I have wide feet that didn't fit so well in them though. I ended up getting the Mirage and I love them! I completely agree about using lightweight shoes for speed workouts. I feel like I'm flying!

  3. Great review, J! I love the bright color!

  4. How sweet! I love minimal shoes for anything 10k or shorter. and those look REALLY cool. You're right, I don't think they are capable of running slow. that's going to be a lot of fun.

  5. Haha, I love "Maybe it’s because they are highlighter yellow, and a shoe that color just isn’t meant to go slow." :D totally agree.

  6. Kaydee3:00 PM

    I just bought a pair of these! I am currently experiencing a stress fracture from marathon training in a too minimalist shoe with no cushioning... My feet felt completely beat up in the shoes but I kept running in them.. Stupid mistake... So I said screw it. I like the minimalist idea but for my feet, if I'm running14+ miles I need more cushion!!! So I'm excited to try these out. I can't run until June so they are waiting for me in my closet ready to train for NYC marathon. I learned a valuable lesson- really listen to your body and don't let anyone talk you into a shoe that kills your feet. It's not worth being injured for 8 weeks!!

  7. [...] Sunday’s run, I was feeling a bit speedy (I was after all wearing my “fast shoes”) and though I didn’t take my Garmin with me, the 5K I ran was [...]